Rest assured, Stevie Wiseacre has lost it again

The Warriors knew life without Kevin Durant would be different if not downright difficult, but he’s not their only concern right now.

Steve Kerr should scare Dubs Nation even more.

Kerr made another horrible decision on Saturday, when the coach decided to rest his core players. Not one of them, mind you, but all of them — Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala and Klay Thompson. Against the San Antonio Spurs, who were only 1.5 games behind the Warriors at the time. On the road, no less. In front of a national television audience.

Even though the Spurs were without their two biggest difference-makers — LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard — the mindless move gave them a decided manpower advantage.

You know the rest. The Santa Cruz Warriors showed up in a 107-85 stinker that was every bit as pathetic as the score sounded. Not only did coach Gregg Popovich’s fossils close within a mere one-half game of the Western Conference top spot, but they also claimed the tie-breaker in the event of a dead heat.

Kerr blamed the sit-downs on health concerns, the result of seven games in the previous 12 days. Yeah, the schedule sucked, all right, but every team has rough patches over the course of 82 games.

Besides, coaches are paid to solve problems, and at about $61,000 per regular-season game, few would argue that Kerr is underpaid these days.

No, this wasn’t only about the schedule. It was mostly about the coach who mismanaged it. The same coach who helped mismanage a 73-win team out of a repeat championship last postseason.

As Balls suggested the other day, the best way to prepare for the postseason would be to stagger the rest of the core guys down the stretch. If Kerr feared that some players were at risk, then the time to bench them was in Minneapolis one night earlier. That way the big four would have had two days off before the showdown in San Antone. Heck, he could have told them to stay home not make the trip at all.

To review: Kerr played his A Team versus the last-place Timberwolves then benched practically all of it against the first-place Spurs one night later.

What was Stevie Wiseacre possibly thinkin’ here?

Is it possible that Kerr was thinkin’, “If the NBA wants to mess with my team, then screw them. I’ll bench my stars and sabotage the TV ratings”?

Or to take it a step further, would anyone put it past Kerr and his buddy Popovich to stage a joint protest on behalf of horribly oppressed NBA players? They’re the judge and jury for everything that’s fair and right in the world, right?

Maybe the outcome won’t matter weeks for now. If either Aldridge or Leonard are out for an extended stretch, the Spurs will be hard-pressed to stay in the race. But if the Warriors survive this, it may be in spite of their coach, not because of him.

GETTIN’ IGGY WITH IT: Worse yet, the ordeal did nothing to bond Kerr and his players at a time when they need to circle the wagons. Because it’s quite possible that not a single team member wanted to sit out his most important game of the season to date.

Worse yet, Kerr announced the decision rather abruptly after the loss in Minneapolis and did so without notification of the players.

“Nope, no clue,” Andre Iguodala replied when asked whether he knew of he plan. “I do what master say.”

Iguodala dismissed his remarks as an inside joke — NBA players like to call themselves slaves for coaches and team owners these days — but those who knew him didn’t buy the explanation. The guy is too blunt, too savvy not to know how his remarks would play out in public.

Kerr told reporters that they got “Andre’d,” but what was he supposed to say?

ROYAL SCAM: The rest argument is part of a far greater problem, one that commissioner Adam Silver and the team owners would be wise to address soon if they can find the onions to do so.

More than ever, the NBA is a players’ league. The career formula is, play less, stay longer, get richer. More and more established players don’t want to play hard three or four times a week and jeopardize their careers. And their agents sure as heck don’t want them to do it, either.

See, in the entertainment age, the product doesn’t have to be sold any more. But at some point, the fans aren’t gonna buy it. They can’t be expected to pay NBA prices to watch developmental league games forever.

HISTORY LESSON: Warriors legend Rick Barry tells Balls that he isn’t a fan of the rest thing. Dude should know.

In 1966, after a six-game, nine-day road trip, the Warriors arrived home at 6 a.m. to play another game that night. Barry scored 43 points and played all stinkin’ 48 minutes in a close victory.

WAIT ‘TIL NEXT JEER: Santa Clara has been among the more active teams in early days of free agency, but there’s little for the Faithless to get excited about next season.

First-year general manager Lynch did well to sign veteran Brian Hoyer to a two-year, $12-million contract. He represents an immediate upgrade over Colin Kaepernick at quarterback. Then again, a mannequin would be better, too.

The best news is, Pierre Garcon didn’t fleece team management as badly as was first reported. Still, five years and $42.5 million ($20.5 mill guaranteed) is a lot to pay for a 30-year-old slot receiver.

Otherwise, Lynch got taken by fragile wideout Marquise Goodwin (two years, $8 million), flunky fullback Kyle Juszczyk (four years, $21 million) and o-ver-ra-ted linebacker Malcolm Smith (four years, $24.5 million).

Well, you know what they say — that’s the way the rookie crumbles.

JUST SAYIN’: Balls would be far more encouraged if Lynch had reeled in wideout Terrelle Pryor (one year, $8 million) and/or cornerback Prince Amukamara (one year, $7 million) instead.

YOUR TURN: “I’m not much into the NBA any more. There’s so much national TV bias for and against various teams that I just find annoying to the extreme. Until the Warriors got good, I was and still am a bit of a Spurs fan. But every year they went to Finals, all the announcers talked about were the Los Angeles Lakers even though they were out. Go Giants!” — Marianne Smith, San Francisco

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to pladd@aol.com, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.

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